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1 hour ago, BlackberryJam said:

I love that her two man detectives are a pompous, not even remotely athletic, Belgian and a little old lady.

Seriously, no knife fights or fisticuffs for these two!  But I wouldn't have it any other way.  I'll take Miss Marple knitting a scarf in an easy chair and Poirot being a persnickety know-it-all any day.  I did try Sophie Hannah's first one, The Monogram Murders.  It was very serious, low on the humor, and it was quite convoluted, even for Poirot.  I didn't like it much, but not that much that I won't try the second one.

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30 minutes ago, sugarbaker design said:

Seriously, no knife fights or fisticuffs for these two!  But I wouldn't have it any other way.  I'll take Miss Marple knitting a scarf in an easy chair and Poirot being a persnickety know-it-all any day.  I did try Sophie Hannah's first one, The Monogram Murders.  It was very serious, low on the humor, and it was quite convoluted, even for Poirot.  I didn't like it much, but not that much that I won't try the second one.

The Monogram Murders turned on an obscure grammar reference and even for Poirot, it was a too much. They don't improve at all.

I wish there "Thrillers" weren't always lumped with "Mysteries." I do not like reading "women in peril" and "heart pumping action" all the time. I want a mystery. A puzzle to unravel. Not a chase scene followed up lead character locked in a closet sweating in terror while psychokiller stalks through the house.

UGH. 

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Have any Agatha Christie fans tried Ngaio Marsh?  Her Inspector Alleyn mysteries are favourites of mine.  A fellow mystery fan recommended another author from the "golden age of mysteries", Patricia Wentworth,  and I tried a few of her Miss Silver mysteries.  Maybe I just picked the wrong ones but I didn't really feel they compared to Christie or to Marsh.

Edited by SusannahM
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The Spenser novels that I have read since Robert Parker died were actually pretty good, so if you are a fan of the originals, give them a try!

Finished Tana French's The Secret Place and I can't recommend it more highly, although as others here have mentioned it is great to read all the novels in this series (Dublin Murder Squad) in order. Entirely intense, rich, believable, fascinating...

Now back to the Shetland Islands with Ann Cleeves (another murder mystery but almost seems lighthearted, even though its not!, compared to Tana French world).

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2 hours ago, isalicat said:

Finished Tana French's The Secret Place and I can't recommend it more highly, although as others here have mentioned it is great to read all the novels in this series (Dublin Murder Squad) in order. Entirely intense, rich, believable, fascinating...

Awesome! I know I told you not to skip it if for no other reason than because it's an important prequel to the final book (Conway is the narrator/protagonist in it, so now you know why - I just love the final scene between her and Moran in this, as well as a certain earlier one), but I'm glad you enjoyed it in its own right. I did too. I suspect it's criticized by some because it heavily centers on the dynamics between teenage girls, which is a shame, because as you said earlier, they are portrayed so realistically. We see all kinds of dynamics explored in this series, and the ones of teenage girls are really not any less important than the others.

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1 hour ago, Black Knight said:

Awesome! I know I told you not to skip it if for no other reason than because it's an important prequel to the final book (Conway is the narrator/protagonist in it, so now you know why - I just love the final scene between her and Moran in this, as well as a certain earlier one), but I'm glad you enjoyed it in its own right. I did too. I suspect it's criticized by some because it heavily centers on the dynamics between teenage girls, which is a shame, because as you said earlier, they are portrayed so realistically. We see all kinds of dynamics explored in this series, and the ones of teenage girls are really not any less important than the others.

At this point I am in awe of Tana French, frankly. I've been reading crime/mystery fiction for 50 years including all of Agatha Christie (actually read via bookstalls in India during a months long rail trip there in 1982) and have always deeply admired so many brilliant authors in this genre from Dorothy Sayers to P.D. James to Jo Nesbo and beyond. But this Dublin Murder series has had a sweep and depth I was not expecting and find quite amazing.

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I've reread Tana French multiple times, and I always pick up something new on each reread. Is it weird to say her writing reminds me of Edith Wharton's? It's something about how she writes her characters/portrays their relationships. It blows me away every time.

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18 hours ago, SusannahM said:

Have any Agatha Christie fans tried Ngaio Marsh? 

After I tore through AC in my teens and twenties, I turned to the other golden age masters like Marsh, Dorothy Sayers and John Dickson Carr.  For colorful characters I go to Marsh, for wit I go to Sayers, and for intricate puzzles I go to Carr.

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19 hours ago, sugarbaker design said:

Seriously, no knife fights or fisticuffs for these two!  But I wouldn't have it any other way.  I'll take Miss Marple knitting a scarf in an easy chair and Poirot being a persnickety know-it-all any day.  I did try Sophie Hannah's first one, The Monogram Murders.  It was very serious, low on the humor, and it was quite convoluted, even for Poirot.  I didn't like it much, but not that much that I won't try the second one.

 

18 hours ago, BlackberryJam said:

The Monogram Murders turned on an obscure grammar reference and even for Poirot, it was a too much. They don't improve at all.

I wish there "Thrillers" weren't always lumped with "Mysteries." I do not like reading "women in peril" and "heart pumping action" all the time. I want a mystery. A puzzle to unravel. Not a chase scene followed up lead character locked in a closet sweating in terror while psychokiller stalks through the house.

UGH. 

I've read all of the Sophie Hannah Poirot books.  I didn't like the first one at all, I thought she tried way too hard to imitate/emulate the master.  She throws in all the key phrases like "the little gray cells" and while I'm sure she was going for reviews that glowed with praise like "perfectly captures the feel of a classic Agatha Christie", I don't think she got there at all.

I'm not sure why I am still reading them.  But I guess it's because I like the character, and I suppose I must be willing to overlook the faults if I can get a taste of a new Poirot story every so often.

 

9 minutes ago, sugarbaker design said:

After I tore through AC in my teens and twenties, I turned to the other golden age masters like Marsh, Dorothy Sayers and John Dickson Carr.  For colorful characters I go to Marsh, for wit I go to Sayers, and for intricate puzzles I go to Carr.

These are great suggestions, I am going to have to try them.  Thank you.

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10 hours ago, Black Knight said:

Awesome! I know I told you not to skip it if for no other reason than because it's an important prequel to the final book (Conway is the narrator/protagonist in it, so now you know why - I just love the final scene between her and Moran in this, as well as a certain earlier one), but I'm glad you enjoyed it in its own right. I did too. I suspect it's criticized by some because it heavily centers on the dynamics between teenage girls, which is a shame, because as you said earlier, they are portrayed so realistically. We see all kinds of dynamics explored in this series, and the ones of teenage girls are really not any less important than the others.

I liked Secret Place alright, but never really knew what to make of them having magical abilities or whatever it was. It's been a long time since I read it, but stuff like them turning off lights with their minds. Were they just on drugs or highly imaginative? It was a jarring inclusion when all the books before and after were so rooted in realism. I remember reading it really fast in one sitting though so maybe I misinterpreted. 

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12 minutes ago, blackwing said:

I'm not sure why I am still reading them.  But I guess it's because I like the character, and I suppose I must be willing to overlook the faults if I can get a taste of a new Poirot story every so often.

Same here.  I also like the idea of a new sidekick for Poirot, it's familiar and new at the same time.

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19 hours ago, BlackberryJam said:

I wish there "Thrillers" weren't always lumped with "Mysteries." I do not like reading "women in peril" and "heart pumping action" all the time. I want a mystery. A puzzle to unravel. Not a chase scene followed up lead character locked in a closet sweating in terror while psychokiller stalks through the house.

UGH. 

I forgot to comment on this... I wholeheartedly agree.  It seems that in recent months/years, there have been an incredible amount of these "women in jeopardy" thrillers.  Have they always been around?  What started the intense popularisation?  Was it "The Girl on the Train"?  Then along came Ruth Ware and many many others.

I've posted about this before I think, but I really love "And Then There Were None" and was looking for similar books.  Which led me to read both of the books by Lucy Foley and Ruth Ware's "One by One".  As well as Shari LaPena's "An Unwanted Guest" (which was terrible!).  It struck me that, as you say, at the heart of all of these books is the familiar and not-so-appreciated-by-me "woman in jeopardy".

Why do all of these books like this have to have a "woman in jeop"?  Is it because it seems most books written like this are written by women who seem to always have a woman as the main character?  It's such a formulaic trope.  I think of Ruth Ware's "The Woman in Cabin 10" where the main character is this woman who has some psychological baggage but then manages to find her inner strength to keep fighting and surviving.  I hated that character so much and halfway through the book I remember actively wishing for her demise.

Are there any current Agatha Christie-like authors or mysteries that do NOT involve a "woman in jeop"?  Or is the "psychological thriller" genre basically code word for "woman in jeop" books?

Edited by blackwing
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16 minutes ago, blackwing said:

Are there any current Agatha Christie-like authors or mysteries that do NOT involve a "woman in jeop"?  Or is the "psychological thriller" genre basically code word for "woman in jeop" books?

I think some example of "women in jeop" would be Behind Closed Doors and  In a Dark, Dark Wood, both of which I read.  I would only classify IADDW as a mystery also.  There's some question who the antagonist is in IADDW, and there's no question of it in BCD.

If a mystery novel features a female detective today, there's going to be some element of danger.  I think the days of Miss Marple sitting in her easy chair, knitting (never a pattern, always solid) and solving a mystery are a thing of the past, alas.

But even though our intrepid heroine might face some peril, I wouldn't call cozies or novels like Sue Grafton's or Sara Paretski's "women in jeop" books, though some might not agree.  

Some of my favorite current mystery series are Connelly's Bosch, Leon's Brunetti, Nesbo's Harry Hole, Robinson's Banks, Walker's Bruno, May's McLeod, Maron's Knott, Lovesey's Diamond, Todd's Rutledge & Crawford, Ellen Hart's Jane Lawless, Locke's Hwy 59, Penny's Three Pines and King's Mary Russell.  All are classic mysteries.

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This is clearly an unpopular opinion, but I've read four of The Dublin Murder Squad books by Tana French and I am not a fan. Broken Harbour made me stop reading them forever. During the big interrogation scene, I got so bored that I put the book down and forgot about it for days before I came back to it. I do not get the love for these books. In the Woods was interesting and I enjoyed The Likeness well enough, but after that, they just tanked. Maybe because I knew as soon as the murder happened in Broken Harbour who the killer was that I found reading it like trying to run through sludge. 

What am I missing? I find the characters so shallow despite their ponderous backstories. 

I've read more of the Sophie Hannah Poirot novels as well. I keep hoping they will get better. 

Read Cold Mourning by Brenda Chapman which has a First Nations police officer as the main character, Kala Stonechild. Her upbringing was terrible, jumping foster homes, and as I see more information about Indian residential boarding schools, I really like this character. Not for her tragedy, but for her resolve and that she's creating a better life for herself.

@blackwing that trope has been around long before Ruth Ware. My first experience with it was Mary Higgins Clark. I remember one novel I started when I was about fourteen. I'm pretty sure it was MHC. The first chapter was the female protagonist buried alive and panicking, then thinking back to how she got there. And by all that is holy, I freaking HATE books like that. Nothing makes me want to skip to the end more than that manufactured suspense technique. Hate it. Hate it so much.

I mostly hate those books because the main character does singularly stupid things like, "Goes after the killer alone, against the advice of the police officer, and doesn't tell anyone where she will be," or even worse, "turns off cell phone/doesn't check messages/leaves phone in the car," or even the singularly stupid, "Confronts killer with no plan/backup instead of just telling police detective who killer is and why."

Stupid stupid stupid.

I also dislike the "gaslighted woman" trope. There is only one of those stories that I like, and that's Gaslight, the movie staring Ingrid Bergman. Everything else is just a pale imitation.

I enjoy the Lowcountry Mysteries by Susan M. Boyer. I wish she'd eliminate the supernatural element though. I think it's unnecessary.

I've read as much as I want of Sayers and Marsh. I'll look into John Dickson Carr, but I might have gotten a recommendation for him during one of my "female writers only" phases.

Anyone else have any puzzle driven mysteries they want to recommend? 

 

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@BlackberryJam, I’m also not a fan of Tana French’s books. In theory I should be, they are the type of mysteries that I like - well written, generally good plots, not overly violent/gruesome. But I am “meh” on all of them except Broken Harbour, I actually like that one the best. I stopped at The Witch Elm, because life is too short to read books I don’t actually like. I’m getting some good recommendations here, which is great because I need a new series…..

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1 hour ago, Jenniferbug said:

I liked Secret Place alright, but never really knew what to make of them having magical abilities or whatever it was. It's been a long time since I read it, but stuff like them turning off lights with their minds. Were they just on drugs or highly imaginative? It was a jarring inclusion when all the books before and after were so rooted in realism.

The supernatural as a real and tangible thing is at least hinted at in multiple other books, most notably the first, In the Woods, and the fourth, Broken Harbor. I wasn't that fond of that aspect of Secret Place myself, but it wasn't out of nowhere for the series, just the most overt.

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1 hour ago, BlackberryJam said:

This is clearly an unpopular opinion, but I've read four of The Dublin Murder Squad books by Tana French and I am not a fan.

I read the first one and started off liking it.  About halfway through, it began to not be as good and by the end I hated it.  Am not going to bother with any of her others.  Life's too short to read books by authors whose writing exasperates me.

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I'm also not a fan of Tana French's Murder Squad books.  I read all of them and didn't care for any of them.  I also had my mom try one of the murder squad books because she's a big mystery reader and its set in Ireland and I thought I was the only one who didn't like them but my mom didn't like French's writing either.   I actually liked The Witch Elm better than them.

I've never read Sophie Hannah's Poirot books but I've read some of her other books and they are completely convoluted as well so it doesn't surprise me that her Poirot books are.  

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13 minutes ago, proserpina65 said:
1 hour ago, MargeGunderson said:

I stopped at The Witch Elm, because life is too short to read books I don’t actually like.

Life's too short to read books by authors whose writing exasperates me.

Eh…it quoted within a quote, but YES on this sentiment. Tana French’s writing makes me want to shout, “Get on with it already!” It’s just pages and pages and pages to get to a telegraphed destination, and the journey isn’t enjoyable.

There are some books I read as “improving” books. I normally enjoy them, but when I’m going for a pure pleasure read the writing and characterization should not feel exasperating. 

I got a recommendation for The Wright Sister from a friend whose recs are hit and miss. Anyone have an opinion?

Going through my Libby holds I’ve got 

The Inheritance of Orquidea Divina by Zoraida Cordova

The Royal Correspondent by Alexandra Joel

Not a Happy Family by Shari LaPena

Perversion of Justice: The Jeffrey Epstein Story by Julie K Brown

Murder at Mallowan Hall by Colleen Cambridge

Vanderbilt by Anderson Cooper

Deadly Summer Nights by Vicki Delany 

A Haunting at Holkham by Anne Glenconner (Amazon Pre-Order)

State of Terror by Louise Penny and Hillary Rodham Clinton (Amazon Pre-Order)

 

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1 hour ago, Black Knight said:

The supernatural as a real and tangible thing is at least hinted at in multiple other books, most notably the first, In the Woods, and the fourth, Broken Harbor. I wasn't that fond of that aspect of Secret Place myself, but it wasn't out of nowhere for the series, just the most overt.

I guess that's not how I interpreted the other books. Any hint of the supernatural in In The Woods (which I'm not recalling anything specific beyond the general mysterious nature of the disappearance) seemed like a result of Rob's trauma and his youth when it happened. Broken Harbor I again chalked up to a breakdown in mental health rather than an actual supernatural experience. So from my reading of those previous novels, Secret Place suddenly introducing the supernatural was jarring. I don't recall hints of the supernatural in the books after Secret Place, but haven't read any of these in a long time. 

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The first of the novels in The Kissing Booth series, by Welsh author Beth Reekles (decided to read these because I saw and enjoyed the films, so why not read the books):

 

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5 hours ago, BlackberryJam said:

This is clearly an unpopular opinion, but I've read four of The Dublin Murder Squad books by Tana French and I am not a fan. 

 

4 hours ago, MargeGunderson said:

@BlackberryJam, I’m also not a fan of Tana French’s books. In theory I should be, they are the type of mysteries that I like - well written, generally good plots, not overly violent/gruesome. But I am “meh” on all of them except Broken Harbour, 

 

3 hours ago, partofme said:

I'm also not a fan of Tana French's Murder Squad books.  I read all of them and didn't care for any of them. 

Add me to the club. I really wanted to like her books, but just couldn't. I think I read 3 of them, but I don't remember much about the plots. I do remember that I found her style really annoying, she turned a simple scene into a major undertaking. Somebody would walk across the street & it would take 10 pages. I don't like when people just keep writing for no reason except to make something longer.

Edited by GaT
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31 minutes ago, GaT said:

 Somebody would walk across the street & it would take 10 pages.

What is so involved with walking across the street that takes ten pages to write?

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1 hour ago, Jenniferbug said:

I guess that's not how I interpreted the other books. Any hint of the supernatural in In The Woods (which I'm not recalling anything specific beyond the general mysterious nature of the disappearance) seemed like a result of Rob's trauma and his youth when it happened. Broken Harbor I again chalked up to a breakdown in mental health rather than an actual supernatural experience. So from my reading of those previous novels, Secret Place suddenly introducing the supernatural was jarring. I don't recall hints of the supernatural in the books after Secret Place, but haven't read any of these in a long time. 

French writes about it in a way in which it's quite open to reader interpretation, while making sure that it's impossible to definitively rule out the supernatural as a factor in the Dublin Murders universe. It's just brought forth more in Secret Place. (There's only one book after it and Conway is the last sort of person to ever notice anything like that, so there's nothing in it. Faithful Place is similar because it features the kind of narrator who would just adamantly disregard any such notion.)

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Hmmmmmmm.....just goes to show that we all have such different reasons for reading and varying reactions to what we read! (this in response to the discussion of the Tana French Dublin Murder mysteries). Its a good thing!

I guess I really appreciate the deep diving she (Tana French) does into each character's personality so that the books are really character driven (as opposed to plot driven like the Preston & Childs books for example). So I don't mind at all the extraordinary level of detail and emphasis on fully "fleshing out" each and every scene.

As to the magical/supernatural element in The Secret Place I thought that was a wonderful illustration of the true magic that a closely bound group of teen girls can share. That level of "simpatico" and trust is rarely found in adult life (too many other necessary allegiances once one is out in the world) and younger children don't tend to form a protective, secretive circle as adolescents do. The "magic" was limited to some simple telekinesis, and just provided another way to illustrate how the four girls in the key teen grouping were extraordinarily bonded.

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8 hours ago, Starleigh said:

I've reread Tana French multiple times, and I always pick up something new on each reread. Is it weird to say her writing reminds me of Edith Wharton's? It's something about how she writes her characters/portrays their relationships. It blows me away every time.

I love her writing. I remember reading The Witch Elm, which I know wasn't her best-received, but it was not long before I ready to stop life-extending measures and eventually enter hospice ( then came March 2020, so I stuck around to help my spouse survive it.). But I had reached this sense of peace and readiness that it was time, but also a detachment and cherishing of everything that seemed at odds but weren't, that I'd never quite been able to describe, but in that book a character speaks about how he knows his time is coming and how he feels about it and it was so close to what I'd experienced that I don't know how she so completely nailed that (and I was the primary caregiver for four terminal family members and was an oncology, then hospice nurse so I've spent a lot of time around the dying and being one of them). She's almost scarily perceptive (not quite the word I want but I'm on the good meds these days. 

I need diversions and someone recommended Graham Norton (TV funny guy) so I'm about to start A Keeper. It's a library ebook, so if it's not working, I'll grab something else.  

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I am reading One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston.  August has spent her life avoiding connections with people other than her mother.  Now moving to New York for school August meets the girl of her dreams but there’s a problem.   Jane’s been trapped on the subway since the 70s and has no memory of how she got time displaced.    Is she is a ghost, a time traveler, cursed?   August is determined to help her.   I really like the way August is opening up with her new roommates.   I feel like Jane is too perfect in August’s eyes and so I hope as we read further she’ll get more depth.  I think the premise is interesting and I am enjoying getting  know the characters.  I liked the authors previous book Red, White, & Royal Blue a ton.

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5 hours ago, Darian said:

I love her writing. I remember reading The Witch Elm, which I know wasn't her best-received, but it was not long before I ready to stop life-extending measures and eventually enter hospice ( then came March 2020, so I stuck around to help my spouse survive it.). But I had reached this sense of peace and readiness that it was time, but also a detachment and cherishing of everything that seemed at odds but weren't, that I'd never quite been able to describe, but in that book a character speaks about how he knows his time is coming and how he feels about it and it was so close to what I'd experienced that I don't know how she so completely nailed that (and I was the primary caregiver for four terminal family members and was an oncology, then hospice nurse so I've spent a lot of time around the dying and being one of them). She's almost scarily perceptive (not quite the word I want but I'm on the good meds these days. 

I need diversions and someone recommended Graham Norton (TV funny guy) so I'm about to start A Keeper. It's a library ebook, so if it's not working, I'll grab something else.  

Wow, Darian. Thank you for sharing your story. 

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Completed the first of The Kissing Booth novels by Beth Reekles, and now onto the second one...

 

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4 hours ago, bmasters9 said:

Completed the first of The Kissing Booth novels by Beth Reekles, and now onto the second one...

 

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How was the first one?  Is the best friend relationship super codependent like the movie?

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54 minutes ago, Luckylyn said:

How was the first one?  Is the best friend relationship super codependent like the movie?

Yep-- that was pretty much the gist of it! Even so, it was quite the page-turner.

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Broke out of my reading slump with The Last Graduate, the second book in the Scholomance series by Naomi Novik. It's amazing, better than the first, and the only thing I'm sorry about is that now I have to wait probably a year for Book No. 3. The book features an incredible cast of characters with great character development and I really do hope we see all or at least most of them in the next book. I love the politics of this particular wizarding world and the "enclaves."

Spoiler

The ending had a real vibe of "Graduation Day, Part 2" from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I loved it.

 

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Finished Forever Young, Hayley Mills' autobiography.
Primarily focuses on her magnificent opportunity to be the face of Walt Disney's foray into live action, family-friendly movies via a 6-picture deal, including Parent Trap and Pollyanna. Lots of quick info about her co-stars (all of which are "lovely"). Frequent detours into her self-doubts (is this true of all actors?), concerns about growing up, etc. A curious life as the daughter of a famous actor father, an accomplished but alcoholic mom, living in a boarding school when not filming.
Along the way we read how her parents, as her legal guardians, rejected roles in certain movies, including...Lolita.
Yes, Hayley is now in her 70s, but the book mostly ignores what happened after her mid-20s, except for her uber-expensive tax loss.
Interesting diversion.

 

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Now on the third and final of the three main Kissing Booth books, One Last Time (novelization/adaptation of the script of the Kissing Booth 3 film on Netflix):

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Just read We Are Not Like Them and I have to give the authors credit for handling such subject matter with nuance. That’s all I will say.

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I’m in the middle if Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.  It’s one of those books I feel like I knew well before reading it because it’s so much a part of our pop culture. But the adaptations are so iconic that that’s what people think of; not necessarily the book itself.   It’s interesting to compare the original material with the adaptations.  I find myself visualizing things from movies.

BTW, here’s a clip from Drunk History telling their version if how Mary Shelley came up with the story.

 

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If you want to see a completely bonkers version of the Shelley/Byron relationship, watch Gothic. It was directed by Ken Russell. 'Nuf said!

I'm nearly done with The Pale Blue Eye, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. I guessed the broad outlines of the mystery (whodunnit but not quite why), and that was a bit disappointing. I'm usually terrible with that, so if I can guess it, I feel like the plotting either wasn't up to snuff or the author isn't too concerned about that aspect of the mystery. I like the writing and the ambience, so the book is still in the plus column. I can't rave about it, though.

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On 10/10/2021 at 9:02 AM, dubbel zout said:

If you want to see a completely bonkers version of the Shelley/Byron relationship, watch Gothic. It was directed by Ken Russell. 'Nuf said!

I'm nearly done with The Pale Blue Eye, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. I guessed the broad outlines of the mystery (whodunnit but not quite why), and that was a bit disappointing. I'm usually terrible with that, so if I can guess it, I feel like the plotting either wasn't up to snuff or the author isn't too concerned about that aspect of the mystery. I like the writing and the ambience, so the book is still in the plus column. I can't rave about it, though.

Oh dear, that's on deck to be my next book now that I'm almost done with Crooked House.

"Now give me some fuckin' pancakes!"

Edited by peacheslatour
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I've got The Pale Blue Eye on my stack of to be read but had decided to wait until winter...still making my way through all the of Tana French Dublin Murder squad books (one more to go) and Ann Cleeves' Shetland series (just finishing Blue Lightning which is great...I love that none of the Shetland TV episodes seem to based on any of the books so I can enjoy both without spoiling/overlap).

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The Pale Blue Eye has a definite mood that maybe I didn't quite jibe with right now. I'd recommend the book, though. The failings are on my end, not the author's.

I love the Shetland TV series and have been debating whether to read the books. How bleak are they? I can't handle bleak right now. 

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Calling all fractured fairy tale lovers: I’m reading Once More Upon A Time by Roshani Chokshi, about a married royal couple cursed to fall out of love and go on a quest to reclaim themselves. It’s pretty good so far!

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I just finished The Other Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly. It had two of his well know characters working together. Harry Bosch and  Mickey Waller aka The Lincoln Lawyer. I enjoyed the stories (there were two mysteries to be solved) and didn’t figure out who did it until the very end. I enjoyed it. 

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On 10/10/2021 at 5:53 AM, Luckylyn said:

I’m in the middle if Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.  It’s one of those books I feel like I knew well before reading it because it’s so much a part of our pop culture. But the adaptations are so iconic that that’s what people think of; not necessarily the book itself.   It’s interesting to compare the original material with the adaptations.  I find myself visualizing things from movies.

BTW, here’s a clip from Drunk History telling their version if how Mary Shelley came up with the story.

 

I always thought a movie version actually following the book would be interesting.

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16 hours ago, dubbel zout said:

The Pale Blue Eye has a definite mood that maybe I didn't quite jibe with right now. I'd recommend the book, though. The failings are on my end, not the author's.

I love the Shetland TV series and have been debating whether to read the books. How bleak are they? I can't handle bleak right now. 

Someone had posted they were going to read this a few months ago (Peaches?).  I read it when it first came out.  I was a huge fan of Bayard's Mr. Tim, so I was looking forward to TPBE.  I loved it when I first read it.  I loved the contrasting ledger entries from the main character and Poe, how Poe's entries were full of purple prose, and the main character's entries were strictly meat and potatoes.  I was enthralled by the plot, and I was surprised by the ending.  I actually re-read it after reading that post, It still holds up.  I'm a big fan.

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I just finished Dominus, the third and final volume of Steven Saylor's saga about a family throughout hundreds of years of Roman history.  Saylor's more well-known work is a series of 20 or so mysteries featuring Gordianus the Finder, set around Caesar's time.

"Dominus" is apparently Saylor's final book.  He says he is retiring.  I will miss his writing.  Unlike hacks like Phillippa Gregory who pretend to be historians, it is evident that Saylor's knowledge about Roman history is vast, and his writing always appears to be very meticulously researched.  "Dominus" covers the period from about 165 AD through the rise of Constantine and the introduction of Christianity to the Roman empire.

These three books center around the Pinarius family, and follows each generation as they make their way through life and Forrest Gumping their way into historical events.  The family talisman is an amulet/pendant of a golden winged phallus which represents the god Fascinum.  This pendant gets passed down to each male Pinarius when he turns 15.  It was very interesting reading about each successive generation and the particular events in history that they got involved in.

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1 hour ago, blackwing said:

I just finished Dominus, the third and final volume of Steven Saylor's saga about a family throughout hundreds of years of Roman history.  Saylor's more well-known work is a series of 20 or so mysteries featuring Gordianus the Finder, set around Caesar's time.

Good to know, I've been looking for some historical fiction, and I'm very familiar with Gordianus the Finder. 

1 hour ago, blackwing said:

it is evident that Saylor's knowledge about Roman history is vast, and his writing always appears to be very meticulously researched. 

I was always impressed with his scholarship.  I just googled Saylor and saw the first novel of the trilogy is Roma.

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3 hours ago, sugarbaker design said:

Good to know, I've been looking for some historical fiction

You might try, if you haven't read them, Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles series.  People either really hate it, or they think they are the best historical novels ever. I happen to really like the series.  I originally read it in the 1970's reread it in the 1990s and again in the 2010s. If you are a perfectionist you might want to have a copy of the "Dorothy Dunnett Companion" near to hand.

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On 10/10/2021 at 2:57 PM, dubbel zout said:

The Pale Blue Eye has a definite mood that maybe I didn't quite jibe with right now. I'd recommend the book, though. The failings are on my end, not the author's.

I love the Shetland TV series and have been debating whether to read the books. How bleak are they? I can't handle bleak right now. 

They are a bit bleak, so perhaps not now for you. The first one (Raven Black) is incredible and very bleak...then they become less bleak but the one I just finished...oy vey. British authors are apparently entirely allergic to happy ends, aren't they? I should know this by now after decades of reading and watching...

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15 hours ago, Tom Holmberg said:

You might try, if you haven't read them, Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles series.  People either really hate it, or they think they are the best historical novels ever. I happen to really like the series.  I originally read it in the 1970's reread it in the 1990s and again in the 2010s. If you are a perfectionist you might want to have a copy of the "Dorothy Dunnett Companion" near to hand.

I tried reading the first one but just let it go from my Kindle yesterday.  I could not get into it.  

I also just finished The Personal Librarian by Maria Benedict and Victoria C Murray.  Interesting story about a real woman who served as the art and rare book curator for JP Morgan, pre WWI.  She was black but spent her entire life passing as white.  I liked the book but think I'd prefer a straight biography rather than dramatization of her life.

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I tried to read a Dunnett book ages ago but couldn't get into it, either. I don't know if it was the subject or the writing. Probably a bit of both.

I'm now reading The Thursday Murder Club, and it's DELIGHTFUL. Exactly the sort of book I need to be immersed in right now. It's all I can do to not stay up all night to finish it. I dread finishing it because I'm enjoying it so much. Thank goodness Richard Osman is writing more in the series.

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